The Dickinson tour

Totally forgot to talk about brother #1’s visit last Sunday. That’s been a rarity — living abroad has meant brother #1’s excursions to Toronto have been few and far between.

After picking him up at his hotel and escaping the hordes of Jays fans + World Cup of Hockey attendees, I took him on a gastro tour familiar to any Dickinson brother: Quantum for coffee, Wvrst for drinks, and Patria for some dinner. It was a beautiful fall day but did cool off a bit. Still, with Patria’s outdoor heaters it was just warm enough to sit outside, even in my t-shirt.


Cover photo by Tom Magliery, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo by hamburguesanostra, used under Creative Commons license

Patria II

After trying it for the first time a few weeks ago with colleagues, I returned to Patria last night. With Nellie, obviously. It was one of the best meals we’ve had in Toronto in quite a while. We sat down and asked our server to bring out whatever chef felt like giving us. Here’s what appeared:


  • Spanish Manhattan (Bulleit bourbon, pedro ximénez sherry nectar, angostura bitters)
  • Cava Nuevo (bombay gin, lemon, simple syrup, cava)


  • Aceitunas (house marinated olives)
  • Selección de embutidos (ibérico lomo + ibérico chorizo + jamón serrano + morcón salami)
  • Fino Electrico dry white sherry


  • Pimientos de padrón (blistered peppers + sea salt)
  • Ensalada de remolacha (beet salad + apple juice reduction)
  • Gambas al ajillo (fresh gulf shrimp + garlic + parsley)
  • Cordoniu rosé Cava


  • Bombas con salsa brava (chorizo + aioli + spicy piquillo sauce)
  • Grilled pickerel
  • Pimientos rellenos de buey (piquillo peppers + oxtail + manchego)
  • Estrella Inedit wheat beer


  • Churros con dulce de leche (spanish doughnuts + cinnamon sugar + dulce de leche)
  • Floralis Moscatel

It was all good, but the highlights were the chorizo, the ensalada, the bombas, the churros, and (for me, anyway) the pimientos. We also loved the non-traditional drink pairings…no table wine, and even the use of a great beer in the right spot.


Cover photo by hamburguesanostra, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo by fabalv, used under Creative Commons license


This past Wednesday I, along with a whole slew of other work-related people, had dinner at Patria. The organizer had asked my opinion on where to go; I somewhat-selfishly suggested Patria as it had been on my want-to-try list for some time.

We sat in a private area and the food was all brought out family style, which is a great way to try lots of stuff, but makes it tough to really get a read on what the place would be like for a typical meal. Still, there was plenty in the meal which impressed: the jamon iberico; the piquilo peppers stuffed with braised oxtail; the wood fire roasted ribeyes; the churros; the chocolate pudding with sea salt and olive oil. And while I was completely out of my depth in the Spanish wine list, the Navarro Cab I lucked into was a hit.

We’ll definitely be going back, perhaps around TIFF time.


Cover photo by fabalv, used under Creative Commons license